Yanis Varoufakis’ speech in Dublin: Is Europe going from crisis to catastrophe?

Yanis Varoufakis was invited to speak at the event hosted by Clare Daly at the Button Factory Dublin, Ireland, on Monday, April 29. Here is his speech, in full…

European elections are in the air. So, we gathered here to talk Europe. But there is no Europe left to speak of. Not really.

The EU’s rulers have successfully turned Europe into a servile sub-agent of Washington DC. They have caused Europe to be falling behind economically, environmentally, technologically, ethically, geostrategically.

  • We are here to talk Europe. Not to praise it. But to bury this heartless, hideous European Union whose rulers are hellbent on war and naked exploitation of Peoples and Nature – in Europe, in Europe’s neighbourhood, beyond.
  • We are here to tell the people of Palestine of our commitment to fight this European election on their behalf – as well as on the behalf of our Jewish comrades who cry out NOT IN OUR NAME | Jewish comrades, like our German friends of the Jewish Voice for a Just Peace, who help us expose Ursula von der Leyen for what she is: an unelected lunatic warmongering genocide-cheerleader answering only to her true masters in Washington.
  • We are here to tell the people of Ukraine of our commitment to a swift, just peace – instead of the never-ending war Brussels is planning for them on behalf of Washington – especially now that hitherto peace-loving Scandinavian social democrats have been co-opted by NATO.
  • And we are here to tell our people, in Ireland, in Greece, in Germany, across the EU one simple thing:
  • Everything should be different.
  • And everything can be different.
  • But nothing will change unless we build barricades to stop the warmongers and the oligarchs in their tracks.

How could our message here tonight be different? Tonight, I have the honour to share this stage with two of the greatest barricade builders this rebellious land has produced.

The earliest glimpse my teenage self caught of Bernadette Devlin MP, back then, was a photo in which Bernadette was piling up stones to build barricades – an image I was chuffed to see depicted in one of the giant murals opposite the Bloody Sunday Monument, to which Bernadette was kind enough to take me to see six years ago in Derry.

And then there is Clare Daly. Another extraordinary barricade builder. For the past five years, Clare has used (not stones but) well-chosen words to build barricades on the floor of the EP so that THEY – the warmongers, the genocide supporters and the oligarchs’ agents – DO NOT PASS.

BUT, why is Europe in decline? Why is it becoming a nasty, brutish, stupid and therefore irrelevant-for-the-rest-of-the-world continent?

Because 20 years of austerity for the many combined with socialism for the financiers to crush investment in the things Europe desperately needs. That’s why.

Some of us, who found ourselves – however briefly – in Ecofin, in the Eurogroup, tried to avert this. We proposed Eurobonds and smart investment blueprints to mobilise the Central Bank’s moneytree to fund green tech, green energy, education, health… Alas, the ruling class were not interested.

BUT why were they not interested? Could they not see that their Europe was a pyramid scheme? That when the many can’t spend there will be no growth, no good jobs, no future? Did the so-called Europeanists not see that their shenanigans were turning Europe into America’s vassal? Of course they could see it!

It was NOT a mistake. Europe’s decline wasn’t caused by its system’s breakdown – it occurred because the EU system performed exactly as designed. Here is the gist of it: America’s and Europe’s ruling classes have been proceeding on the basis of a Dark Deal that they struck in the 1970s, after the fall of the Bretton Woods system:

The Dark Deal starts with America’s burgeoning trade deficit which acts like a huge vacuum cleaner that sucks into the United States Europe’s exports.

European capitalists thus depend on the US trade deficit for their dollar profits.

But, unable to spend dollars here, they send them back to Wall Street to lend to the US state, to buy shares in Wall Street and to purchase real estate in California and Miami.

That’s the Dark Deal: America keeping European capitalists rich as long as they send their dollar profits to America to fund Washington; to keep Wall Street liquid; and to keep American rentiers in luxury.

To continue getting dollar-rich, European capitalists need the euro to plunder poorer Europeans but they do not want a euro that competes with the dollar – since their profits depend on the dollar’s exorbitant privilege.

This is why Europe’s ruling class will back any war demanded by the US military-industrial complex – that’s perhaps the darkest aspect of the Dark Deal.

We begin to see why Europe’s ruling class condone things that damage them and their countries: Like the Americans blowing up Nordstream 1, causing much economic pain to German industry. It is simple: America’s deficits line their pockets with dollars which they can only use to accumulate wealth in the United States. Put simply, we are ruled by a ruling class whose wealth accumulates on the Atlantic’s other side.

Is it any wonder then that their allegiance also lies on the Atlantic’s other side? That when the US seized upon Putin’s cruel invasion of Ukraine to fuel a never-ending war, Europe’s rulers – even if they understood it was detrimental to Europe’s interests – got on board?

It is why Europe’s ruling class, our oligarchs, would send their own children to the trenches to be slaughtered, or imprison them if they dared protest their wars too loudly.

Their hypocrisy is mind-numbing:

They say they do not want debt, especially common debt. But they bend over backwards to produce it for themselves and their brethren.

They say they hate the money tree. But they pluck it energetically when it comes to spending billions on weapons or lining the pockets of the financiers who transport their dollar profits to Wall Street.

They scream blue murder when Ukrainians are invaded, their land is occupied, their hospitals flattened. But they consider it justifiable homicide when the invaders adorn Israeli uniforms.

They liken Putin to Hitler, to argue against a Peace Process involving him, but they want the Ukrainians to take Moscow on their own with weapons they sell them.

This hypocrisy is not only a moral insult to the direct victims of war and genocide in Palestine, in Ukraine, in Yemen, in Syria, in Kashmir. It is also a clear and present danger for our people, here in Dublin, across Europe.

Lies and orchestrated, industrial scale hypocrisy is the starting point of internal tyranny and external wars. We need to expose it to save our people from despotism, poverty and the insecurity warmongering is meant to cultivate.

We are in the midst of a long slide to authoritarianism. The EP elections cannot stop it. But we can place some voices in Brussels that will inspire Europeans to stiffen their lip and organise better across our borders.

On this you have our word. If you send Clare back to the EP, if my voters honour me likewise, we commit to giving them the hell that they deserve.

To expose all the NATO stooges, all the enablers of Israel, all the shadowy financiers of weapons of mass destruction – real and financial – for what they are.

We shall demonstrate to Europeans NATO’s mafia-derived strategy of turbocharging people’s insecurity to sell them protection.

We shall remind them of how the CIA groomed nasties, like Noriega, Saddam Hussein and later Putin, to use them later as an excuse to justify their lucrative wars.

On Israel, we shall accuse European elites for centuries of rabid antisemitism that begat a century of complicity in the genocide of Palestinians – as if their genocide can wash off the stench of the Holocaust from the hands of Europe’s bourgeoisie.

If you send us to the EP, we shall ask them directly:

  • What did you expect? Did you really think that millions of Jews could come to Palestine, where millions of Palestinians already lived, and create a Jewish state without ethnically cleansing the area and turning any Palestinians remaining there into third rate citizens?
  • Will you stoop so low as to deny the simple logic that genocide and apartheid were baked into the Zionist project of “a land without a people for a people without a land” – whose flag who dare project on the buildings of the EU in Brussels?

We shall look at Ursula and her merry minions in the eye and tell them: No, we have no common values with Israel – whose values are closer to those of the South African Apartheid builders, indeed to the Ku Klux Klan – including mass lynching, extrajudicial killings, dehumanisation on the basis of DNA and religion.

We shall, then, tell all of these pretend-Europeanists that Israel is under no circumstances a strategic asset for Europe, unless you want Europe to ferment never-ending wars against the very people we have an interest to work with in our region.

And, finally, we shall explain analytically the economic dynamic that kickstarted the EU as a cartel – the European Communities of Coal and Steel – before, 70 years later, it morphed into a sad war union which, now, its rulers see as the only means of maintaining the EU.

Friends, comrades, citizens, in a little over a month’s time, you will have a chance to vote for us. Vote for Clare, vote for Mick, vote for MERA25 in Germany, in Greece, in Italy.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Those who promise you that, if you elect them to the EP, they will fix Europe by legislating well are lying – to themselves at best. So, no, we are not asking for your vote so that we can, in the EP, change Europe for the better. That would be a lie. We are asking you to vote for us so that we can be there to push the masks of their faces, to expose their lies, to speak on behalf of the silenced.

This is why I urge you to vote for Clare, for us. Because if the Twin Authoritarianisms of the Radical Centre and the Ultra-Right dominate the EP

  • War will appear as the only policy, the only plan, the only potential of this Europe
  • Mass migrant death on our land and sea borders will seem even more of an uncontested policy than it already has become
  • Humanity and Nature will continue to be plundered by stupid conglomerates behaving as if the Mars solution is a viable option
  • Indignity will become further entrenched in a Europe insisting that:
    • energy must be distributed through markets owned by cartels
    • healing and relief are provided for payment
    • education is a privilege, not a right
    • fiscal responsibility means stinginess on social care but largesse when it comes to ammunition and missiles that maim, mutilate and murder
  • Freedom will die, along with the right to protest in universities, on the streets, even to speak in our Parliaments
  • All sorts of freedoms will die along with the right to know what our governments are doing in our name behind our backs – a right for which Julian Assange is being murdered slowly in his Belmarsh cell.

I don’t know about you but a couple of months ago I didn’t think it possible that the German state would ban me from Germany from an event like thisa. That I would be banned even from speaking at such an event via Zoom or Skype.

It is now evident that there are no limits to the lengths this Europe will go to silence you. So, don’t be silent. Vote for Clare, vote for candidates that will annoy the living daylights out of those leading Europe, on the basis of a Dark Deal, to an unprecedently Dark Ages.

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